Photo by One Knox SC (@OneKnoxSC)
By Devin Hoke
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – It did not take long for One Knoxville Sporting Club (3-3-2) to find the back of the net in their matchup against the Chattanooga Red Wolves (2-4-1) on a rainy Tuesday night at Regal Soccer Stadium in Knoxville. After over an hour-long storm delay, Callum Johnson scored right up the middle just two minutes into the match thanks to a nice setup from Jimmie Villalobos. Knoxville SC scored once again later in the first half at the forty minute mark thanks to a penalty kick by Jake Keegan.
Knoxville dominated the time of possession (56% to 44%) and had thirteen shots on goal to the Red Wolves eleven. This does not mean that Chattanooga did not have their chances however, as they had one shot just graze the outside post and another shot in the second half hit the top crossbar.
Tensions continued to rise during this in-state rivalry over the course of the game. There was a total of 30 penalties between the two clubs (Knoxville had 18 of them) and things reached a boiling point late in the second half when Knoxville midfielder James Thomas went down with an apparent forearm injury. While he was down, a Chattanooga player went over to him, causing the two groups to come together. Fortunately, the referees were able to step in and break it up before anything major could happen but it will be interesting to see in the future if these tensions between the two rival clubs carry over into the third and final game of the season, which will now be the rubber match with both teams winning at home.
The third and final matchup against the Red Wolves will once again be at Regal Soccer Stadium on July 22nd. One Knox plays their next game on the road on Saturday against the Greenville Triumph at 7:00 EST at Furman University’s Triumph Stadium.